The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mountain Harvest Recipes

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1993-2012

Issue: November, 1983

Country Kraut

Good country kraut is made in an earthenware crock. (The size of your crock will determine the amount you make.)

Cut up fresh cabbage in the size and shape you like best for kraut. If it is shredded smaller, it will ferment faster. When you have it chopped, add salt to your taste and squeeze it in your hands thoroughly to bruise it. Keep doing this until you have the cabbage packed down tight and it has released enough water to cover it. Then place a flat plate on top of it and sit a milk jug of water (or any heavy object) on top of the plate.

This is to keep the cabbage under the juice. It will turn brown if it isn’t under the juice. Cover and sit in a fairly warm place until it is fermented as sour as you like it. Then fill clean canning jars, put on lids and can in a canner for about 20 minutes.

If you like it hot, you can add layers of hot peppers in the cabbage as it is being made. Most country people add the cabbage stalks close to the top of the crock and eat them first as a delicacy.

Freezer Slaw

1 med. cabbage head
1 teasp. salt
1 carrot
1 green pepper
1 teasp. mustard seed
1 teasp. celery seed

In saucepan combine:
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup of water
Boil one minute. Cool to lukewarm and pour over the cabbage mixture. Divide into portion sizes you wish in plastic bags and freeze.

Chop or shred cabbage, add salt and let stand one hour. Then squeeze all brine from cabbage. Add shredded carrot, green pepper, mustard seed and celery seed to cabbage. Pour liquid over cabbage mixture and place in plastic bags and freeze.

Persimmon Pudding

(Editors Note: This is my grandmother’s recipe)

2 cups persimmon pulp, seeded
3 eggs beaten
1 3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar

Sift together:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teasp. cinnamon
1 teasp. nutmeg
1 teasp. allspice

Add this to persimmon mixture and beat well. Melt 3/4 stick of butter in baking dish. Turn dish to coat it with the butter. Pour batter in pan. Bake one hour at 300 degree oven.

Molasses Pudding

This recipe was given to me by Mrs. Oma Handy of Meadows of Dan, Virginia. It isn’t exact so it’s for those of you who cook by “feel.”

1 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
a lot of butter
and enough flour to make a decent batter. Add ginger and nutmeg to taste and bake the same way you would a pound cake.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup oil
1 1/2 teasp. salt
2/3 cup of water
2 cups pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 teasp. nutmeg
2 teasp. soda
1 cup pecans

Grease 2 loaf pans and pour batter in them. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes. I like spices so I usually put in cinnamon and ginger in equal amounts with the nutmeg.